Once upon a
time, McFarlane Toys was king. It can easily be argued that Todd was
the father of the modern collectible action figure, bringing cool to
the toy aisle in a way never seen before.
But the world moves on, and today McFarlane is not the leader they once
were. Most of their in house and licensed lines are no more, including
the iconic Spawn series. But there's still one line going strong - Halo.
McFarlane has produced figures based on the game for the last two
years, and it is currently their only large action figure line. This
series got them back into some mainstream retailers, like Target, where
they had once been dominate but had since disappeared from the pegs.
Having that sort of retailer support can be critical in the market
produced several extras in the series, including the cool Mongoose
Tonight I'm looking at two versions of the Mongoose, one that comes
with the ODST Rookie, and one that comes with a yellow EVA. Both run
about $20 at my sponsor
Packaging - ***
These come boxed, but you can't see any of the interior contents.
You'll have to depend on the photos on the outside, which do provide a
The package is collector
friendly, as it's easy to pull out the figure and bike, and put them
back later if you'd like. The box is also very easy to store, taking up
less room than a bubble and cardback.
Sculpting - ***1/2
Both figures have very finely detailed sculpted armor suits, especially
for this scale. The EVA is about 5" tall, just like the rest of the
standard Halo figures in the series, but the Rookie is smaller. He
stands about 4 1/2" tall, and is scaled smaller all around. I've
included a photo near the end that shows them together, along with a
Stormtrooper for comparison.
Both Mongoose vehicles are
identical when it comes to this category, but that's not a problem. The
sculpt is excellent, and the vehicles actually look good with both
figures...even though the two figures are very different in size!
Personally, I like the smaller Rookie on the Mongoose a bit better, but
the EVA works fine as well.
Paint - ****
Both the figures and the vehicles are very different when it comes to
the Paint. Obviously, the yellow EVA is much brighter, and fits in a
bit better in style with the other Halo figures in the line.
The smaller Rookie is really
designed tow work well with the Mongoose, including his paint scheme.
The striping and colors match nicely, making him look like part of the
vehicle itself when he's sitting on the seat.
A kind reader let me know this is what they call VISR mode, sort of a
night vision/targeting mode. The green highlights indicate 'friend'. A
very cool touch!
The EVA's Mongoose isn't quite
as brightly decoed, with fewer highlights and a bit more of a standard
The quality of the paint work is
top notch all around, including the smaller details on both the figures
and the vehicles.
Articulation - ***1/2
I might be confused, but these don't seem to have the same style hips
and shoulders that the original series did. I searched around for the
original Halo figures I reviewed back in '08, but sadly couldn't find
them to do a direct comparison.
I loved the articulation on
those figures, and was deeply impressed by the cool new style of ball
joints that allowed for a tremendous range of movement and natural
It looks like these are a bit
more standard, and certainly cheaper to make. All the joints you'd
expect in a modern action figure are here, including a good ball
jointed neck, pin and post joints at the elbows, knees, wrists and
ankles, and plenty of posability. But these weren't quite as good as
the originals, and it looks to me like some minor changes have been
made over the last two years.
The smaller Rookie can pose on
the Mongoose quite well, but the larger EVA ends up sitting up above
the seat. He works better standing on the back, and can kneel into the
ATV and grip the handle just right, but without a gun he looks a little
silly back there.
It's also worth noting in this
category that the Mongoose has articulation of it's own. The handlebars
turn (although they don't control the front wheels), and of course all
four wheels turn quite freely.
Accessories - **
I'm not counting either the Mongoose or the figure as accessories,
since they are both the main purchase. But there's no weapons,
and that's a bit of a disappointment.
These guys really need guns, and
the hands are sculpted to hold them. Adding in a gun would also give
these a boost in the play factor, and without them, they aren't the
best choice for a kid's first Halo figures.
Some of the armor is removable
(like the shoulder pads on the EVA), which fits with the overall
swappable concept of the series.
Along with some of the removable
armor, there's also the removable windshield that comes with both of
the Mongoose vehicles. These pop on and off easily, and none of the
connectors show when they are in place.
Fun Factor - ***1/2
While the articulation isn't quite what it used to be, and these really
do need a weapon apiece, they are still a tremendous amount of fun. The
mongoose ATV's work great, and the figures can ride on them fairly well.
Value - **1/2
At $20, you're getting a vehicle AND a figure. Since few figures are
less than ten bucks these days, the combo is a decent value at $20. Of
course, had they thrown in a weapon or two, it would have been a far
Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!
Overall - ***
These are great toys, and as much as I feel McFarlane has generally
dropped the ball in the last two years in many areas, this line isn't
one of them. Halo fans have been given a terrific action figure series,
and it's been around long enough now that it doesn't get the kind of
coverage it probably deserves.
I love the two vehicles, and the
EVA looks as good as the rest of the Halo figures. The Rookie is a
little small, but he looks great on the Mongoose. The only thing
holding these two back from the extra half star is the lack of any guns
- I was disappointed that they couldn't shoot and drive at the same
If I could only have one of
these, I'd actually go for the Mongoose with the Rookie. I think he
looks better riding it, and the striping that's on the Mongoose really
adds some punch. You can add in one of your regular Halo figures, with
weapons, on the back of the Mongoose to complete the look.